Hello my Fellow Hair Lovers,
What a difference a year makes! Our hair must be taken care of and attended to, natural or relaxed. I hear a lot of women say they don’t have the time to do their hair; I agree. Us natural gals know the struggle of twisting and braiding all too well. However, the risk is WORTH the reward! A solution to the time problem is protective styles such as weaves, braids, kinky/flat twists (my favs). I’ll flat twist the back and sides, then leave a section for the single two strand twist (no extensions involved). I’ll wear my hair like that for a couple days to perfect and deepen the twist, all the while moisturizing my ends every night. The top/right picture is when I took the twists out.
How to Grow your Hair
When one thinks of growing their hair out, many think of protective styles. Yes, they can help but they have cons as well. This E-book will touch on different ways to grow your hair from using natural protective styles and those involving extensions to low manipulation styles.
Let’s start with defining a protective style for those who aren’t aware of the term. A protective style is putting your hair into a style where your hair is tucked away from the atmosphere to protect the hair from damage. Yes, your hair gets rest during this time but are you treating your natural hair as well? One may have dry hair during the hair’s rest time, and tangling during removal. This can be a setback and will defeat the purpose of the protective style.
Here are some tips to achieve retention:
- Moisturize is the most important of them all. Especially if you have naturally dry hair like myself. I start to moisturize my hair with my refresher mix and then apply my very own Moisturize Me. I sometimes apply some of my Grow Me (Oil) as well.
- No HEAT – This is a big one for everyone, relaxed or natural. The heat dries the hair out and makes it brittle, which can and will lead to breakage if you don’t get it under control. So many people end up with heat damage with destroyed curls. When I want to elongate my hair, I blow dry it on cool using the tension method. If you’re going to be brave and flat iron, please use a heat protectant, (Moisturize Me works great for that as well) and use the lowest setting. I haven’t flat ironed my hair is 3 years!
- Trim as NECESSARY – Trimming is a great tool to keep your dead ends from damaging your growth and retention, but some overdo it and some don’t do at all. I’ll tell you what’s been working for me. When I first started my natural journey, I’d trim every 4-6 weeks because my hair was still damaged. However, as I stuck to my regimen I started to see less shedding and more retention. Now, I trim as needed. Splits ends and heat damage are equivalent to dead weight, let it go by cutting it off so your hair can fully flourish.
- Condition – Conditioning your hair is very important when wanting to maintain moisturized and soft hair. Regularly conditioning you hair, leave-ins, and deep conditioning treatments all help to provide your hair with the needed protein and nutrients. These nutrients contribute to hair elasticity that will help to prevent hair breakage by allowing your hair to stretch when pulled or combed.
- Protective Styles – Less Manipulation & Styling – by stretching out your hairstyles. For example, 2 twists, braids, pin ups, and flat twists are great and can be styled for work too!
- Wash & Go’s are great as well. Now many may not agree with this form, but we all know how well our hair grows when it’s wet. Remember Jerry Curls?!
- o Protective styles with extensions or added hair is the go to for many. There are so many beautiful styles such as Micro Braids, Senegalese Twists, Kinky Twists, and weaves to name a few. My new personal best being the crocheted Marley braids seen in the blog section of NaturalsByShauntay.com.
- Less Manipulation – Often times as a newly natural, the hair is over manipulated from wanting to try new styles or products. Find a protective style that works for you and then stick with that style for a while. If your hair is tucked or pulled too much over a period of time, you will begin to see more breakage and shedding as a result. Protective styles promote growth because they are true to the name “protective” by shielding your hair from over manipulation and the harsh weather.
- Patience – Out of all the steps covered, this is the hardest one to overcome. Why? Because we see all these Naturalista’s with beautiful hair flowing down their backs and we start to ask ourselves, when will mine get there? Oh, it’s just me then, ok. J I had to enjoy each step in this journey to truly be happy and know that with Naturals By Shauntay products, we will all achieve Happy, Healthy, Hair on our own time.
We can’t forget to treat our natural hair when it’s in a protective style, especially the ones with added hair. When the purpose is to protect your hair, one must still take care of their hair. Whenever my hair was in a protective style, I used a DIY refresher spray to mist my hair, then applied some Grow Me (Oil), and Moisturize Me. This combination left my hair & scalp hydrated, nourished, and moisturized thus helping the process of growing out my hair.
On a completely different note, I’m getting my face back, Yay!!! Unless you’ve dealt with acne, you’ll never know the struggle to clear skin. I’ll share more of that topic at a later date. Until next time….Shauntay